philosophy of life


I don’t know what to say about the passing of Wayne Dyer… His books have surrounded me for most of my life. Before he burst forth with his teachings on positive living, I remember his book “Your Erroneous Zones” being on my parent’s bookshelf. In fact, even now three of his books sit next to the living room chair: Excuses be Gone (one of my favorites), The Power of Intention, and Change your Thoughts-Change your Life.

Wayne taught me the importance of staying positive. He showed me the difference between a truth and a meme (something we accept as true). He encouraged me to trust the healing power of the spirit– that the spirit can indeed heal the physical. His teachings significantly shaped the person I’ve become.

I, like many, feel as if I’ve just lost my favorite uncle—good friend, mentor, guru… It hurts. And it’s okay to admit that it hurts. But Wayne wouldn’t want us to stay there! I’m quite certain that this amazing soul is having a jolly good time on “the other side.”

Wayne taught us everything he could. He led by example, and with love. He left behind a legacy of compassion, generosity, and grace. And he left us with a lifetime’s worth of books and videos to uplift us and keep us company until we see him again.

My heart goes out to his family and friends who are undoubtedly in a whirlwind of emotion at this time. I hope they find some comfort in the love we hold for them, and for Wayne.

Mary Morrisey posted this YouTube tribute to Wayne Dyer—thank you Mary.

Sharing thoughts; it sounds like an innocent concept, so innocent that most of us never bother speaking up. After all, who wants to hear what we think? But somewhere there may be someone just waiting for a little nudge–waiting for someone else to voice what they have been holding back. And when the writer and the reader connect, magic happens!
I’m sharing just such a story today from Don Russell, author of Lifting the Curtain: the Disgrace We Call Urban High School Education. Maybe his story will encourage you to share your own thoughts!

Lifting the Curtain

 Yearend is a time for reflection.  And while I took off two weeks off from this blog to concentrate fulltime on all the new chapters and teacher submissions for the 2nd edition of Lifting the Curtain, I kept getting struck by the passion of the thousands of teachers I have “e-met” (is that even a word?) over the past few months.  Deep thanks are in order.

Just three months ago I launched this blog with a singular focus – let teacher voices finally be heard so that we could fix the real issues destroying the education of our children.  I was tired and frustrated that the invaluable views of teachers, from within the classroom, were being hidden—intimidated into silence by bullying and cronyistic school administrators, and drowned out by the loud voices of the same inept career DoE bureaucrats and legislators who were responsible for the…

View original post 979 more words

Fallen Tree 001 rlcOur majestic mesquite is no longer. Just a sapling when we bought the house, we’d babied him through many storms—picked him up once, tethered him…and in return this tree grew to be a giant standing 40-50ft tall with a trunk over a foot in diameter. He shaded the entire front of our property, cradled many nests, and provided the stage for my favorite mocking bird’s mating song (which lasted all night long). But a couple of weeks ago, the last monsoon of the season burst forth with 65 mph winds, uprooting our beloved tree. We watched as he succumbed to the force, gently lying back onto the roof. There was no “bang,” simply the crackling of splintering wood barely heard above the sound of the rain.

It was several days before we could get a company out to remove the tree, during that time it was a bit like living in a tree house. Branches covered most of the front windows and completely blocked our front walkway. Luckily, we were able to clear enough away to get our cars out of the garage! A crew of four tackled the take-down; it took them just two hours, I thought you might be interested in seeing the process.

Tree Removal 001 rlcThey began by removing the branches. A worker climbed the tree up to the roof; I noticed he kept his footing mostly on the larger branches and not on the roofing tiles. Once the branches were off he started with the trunk, tossing down large pieces (you don’t want to be standing anywhere near those falling logs!

Tree Removal 002 rlcTree Removal 003 rlc

 

Tree Removal 004 rlcWith the trunk finally clear of the house, the next question was how to finish the job. The workers decided to pull the tree away from the house so that the falling debris would not crack the concrete walkway. They tied the top of the trunk to the tow hitch on a pick up truck and drove until the tree leaned the opposite direction.

The worker climbed back up the trunk and continued cutting foot long segments. Once he got to the largest part he cut segments about two feet long—horribly heavy but they will make nice side tables out on the patio.Tree Stump 001 rlc

Guess I have a new landscaping project…

Our society is fixated on heroes, mostly fictional. These characters provide us with role models of bravery, fortitude, and selfless service. Once in awhile a real hero catches our attention; I’d like to share with you the stories of two. In respect to their privacy I will simply call them the Postal Carrier and the Mathematician—both friends of mine.

The postal carrier was just that, a postal worker. For many years he lived alone in a small house, but his extended family, and his passion, was the theatre. Most evenings and weekends we could hear the hum of his power saw as he built sets for the next play. His artistic talent didn’t end with the sets though; he also acted, directed, and wrote several plays. Eventual he married…and then he became sick.

The postal carrier was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”) which affects the motor neurons. Soon, he could no longer work nor could he continue to build sets. He is now in a wheelchair with no use of his arms or legs, and his wife has told me it is just a matter of time. Many of us would just give into depression, but not this guy—he wrote another play!

His newest play focuses greed and what lengths people will go to for money. Will they lie? Will they risk their lives, or kill their friends? I find it fascinating that as this man faces his own passing his thoughts are on the morals of society. What may be his last message to us is to face the greed in our own hearts.

My mathematician friend has also placed his attention on the world around him instead of himself. With stage four cancer there is a small chance he can be cured—he has always been healthy so that is in his favor. So, armed with a chemo drip system and a computer he is working to improve children’s education.

The mathematician is a teacher, and his passion is children. You see, his childhood was less than ideal, in fact, it was a nightmare. Consequently, any policies or people that stand in the way of a child and his/her potential really get his goat. His goal is to reveal the bureaucratic nonsense hindering our children’s education and improve the system so each child has the opportunity to excel. For this man it’s just business as usual—he’s even kept his spunky sense of humor!

A hero isn’t someone who can do super-human feats; it’s a person who can remain “human” in times of intense struggle. Heroes challenge us to live each day the best we can right up until the end. To not give up when our days or lives don’t go as planned, but to meet that disappointment and ask ourselves, “What can I still contribute, what beauty can I still experience, what passion continues to stir inside me?” I guess that’s they mean meant by, “Live each day as if it was your last.”

How will you live you life today? Do you have something wonderful to share with the world that you’ve been holding back? Is there a hero in your life you would like to acknowledge? Just sharing a few of my own ponderings…please share yours. ♥

Baby DoveI’m sure we all have stories about curious children who wander away and sometimes get a bit lost; it happens to creatures of all kinds. Today it was this baby dove’s turn to learn a scary lesson.

I noticed him just outside my office window. At the time, he was chasing after a lizard even larger than himself. (I missed a great photo op as baby dove pecked the lizard on the chin.)

Like most of us who mean well, I dragged the ladder outside to search for the nest—thinking I might put him back. All I found was a sad remnant of a nest in the rain gutter; there was an un-hatched egg still there. Although concerned for the baby, I decided the best thing to do was wait and watch.

Baby Dove 2As the morning went on I noticed the mom was taking good care of Baby Dove. She fed him at regular intervals and let him hide underneath her feathers. About two hours later I happen to catch site of Baby standing up and looking towards the roof. He spread his wings, bent his little legs, and flew up to that old remnant in the rain gutter!

We all have lessons to from life: the right way to build a home, when not to wander away from the nest, the importance of helping others, and when it’s best to root from the sidelines and let them learn to stretch their wings.

GeographyofLoss_cover-349My first experience with the heartfelt writing style of Patti Digh was when I came across her book Life is a Verb, a book challenging the audience to live intentionally. The message sank in, and I made some changes in my life. I also took notice of the beautiful artwork submitted by readers; the book felt like “community” to me. Since then Patti has written several books, the most recent being The Geography of Loss. This time our challenge is to face the many painful experiences of life, explore the markings they’ve left on us, and fully embrace our life. Like most self-help books, this one offers exercises to help move the reader through various emotional states. This book is different though, artwork and topography lead us through this emotional territory.

Each chapter begins with a story or personal essay, followed by three prompts: a journal prompt, a map or image exercise, and a meditation. I appreciate the user-friendliness of this format; being written is such a way that you can choose which order to read the chapters and which exercises feel right for you. The journal prompts and map exercises fit together to bring you deeper into the emotional memory. Personally, I think this is brilliant. Therapists often use art exercises in their work with abused children and other trauma patients. They say that imagery is our first language–the “language of the soul”. Working with imagery bypasses our logical mind, helping to access the deeper areas.

Many of us carry fears or resentments centered on loss—an injury, betrayal, divorce, or loss of a loved one. In some situations we’ve judged ourselves; in others we have trouble forgiving. Often we carry this pain like a wall, hoping it will protect us from further injury—the wall is the injury. It is only by courageously, and fully, exploring our grief that we can be free to embrace and love our life.

If you’ve been carrying Loss or Grief, I encourage you to pick of a copy of The Geography of Loss—available at Amazon or your local bookstore. On a personal note, my artwork is on page 18!

HeartTracks by RLC

HeartTracks by RLC. Image published in The Geography of Loss by Patti Digh

Connect with Patti Digh at http://www.37days.com/home

I’m sure that at least once you’ve caught yourself saying, “It’s going to be one of those days.” You know…the kind of day when the water gets turned off, people cut you off, and none of the grocery stores have the ingredient you need. The kind of day when your order finally arrives in the mail and is wrong, which means you have to pay to ship it back. The kind of day when you spill a can of peas and they all go rolling across the floor, disappearing under the refrigerator. Yes, this was actually my day today. But, instead of bracing myself for the next possible catastrophe, I decided to try something different. I decided to see each experience as separate and unattached to the rest of the day. And you know what? It wasn’t really a bad day at all!

On the positive side, fellow grocery shoppers were in relatively good moods. A friend shared her entire diet plan via email and offered encouragement through the holiday feasting. The post office employee taped up my package for me so I could mail the item back in the same envelope (and save three dollars). And the water was turned back on a full four hours before I expected. Best of all, I didn’t spend the day being a grump!

Stuff happens; that’s life. The problem begins when we get attached to all the let-downs. All we can expect of ourselves is to deal the best we can with whatever comes up…then let it go. We don’t have to wait for tomorrow’s sun to rise before we can feel better, or before our luck shifts. We can decide that each day is merely a series of moments offering many fresh starts.

…just something to keep in mind this Thursday when you spill the gravy down your new, white blouse.

 

Please excuse the lack of editing—it’s just been… well, you know 🙂

Gobble Gobble Gourdy 1For instructions on making Gobble-Gobble Gourdy go to Museiddity.com.

Next Page »